About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)



“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin




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Style Imitating Art: Captain America by Alex Gross

I have been wanting to participate in Style Imitating Art (SIA) for a while. Before I knew of this blogger challenge I had done my own version in a couple posts called "Confessions of an Art History Nerd"-- this one for Vittorio Carpaccio and this one for Rogier van der Weyden.

Captain America, by Alex Gross Mixed media on antique photograph, 2006 When I saw the latest SIA challenge-- a multi-media work by Alex Gross in which he used an antique photograph as the base of an image of Captain America--I couldn’t not participate as I had already taken outfit photos that would work. But I decided to tweak the look by incorporating a high-neck Victorian-style blouse that more closely draws on the artwork.

Cardigan, skirt, blouse, all contemporary and thrifted. 1970s bucket purse I’ve had for decades with a newly thrifted sun/star pin added. Bangles from India.  Instead of the Red Skull lurking behind me, I have “Jet,” a black cocker spaniel photographed by R. Weinberger in 1943. (I collect vintage dog photographs. Or used to, until I acquired more than I could display.)

Originally I had taken this outfit shot.

I'm always inspired by other bloggers and I had noticed that shrunken cardigans flattered the ample bosoms of Helga and Curtise. So when I saw a star-adorned cardigan at the thrift store in a size too small, I thought I’d give it a try. They were also inspiration for the red, white and blue palette. (I'll also mention Kelly of Grunge Queen, who recently posted about experimentation being possible when one thrift shops). Have you been inspired so specifically by another blogger?

With the exception of the shoes, all clothing is contemporary and thrifted. This look doesn't excite me and I need to experiment with the sweater. So, ignore the clothes and look at the shoes.

Early 1970s Minnie by Weber shoes, thrifted. I’ve posted about my love of multi-colored shoes and my efforts to paint shoes to get the effect (here  and here). So, I was thrilled to bits to find a vintage pair of yellow, blue and red shoes. Unfortunately, they’re a bit too big. But I can wear them for an outfit post.

Inside one shoe is the name “Minni by Weber” and “Irvings’s Chula Vista California” in the other. The shoe store, Irving’s, in Chula Vista, California, started in 1954 and appears to still be in business. Although these shoes were originally sold in California, after some research I found that they have a Boston connection. (Nerd alert: This is where I tell you the history of my shoes. I’ll keep it short).

In 1919, the Green Shoe Manufacturing Company was founded and started manufacturing shoes in converted stables in the Roxbury section in Boston. Jump ahead to the 1960s, when the company bought up smaller shoe companies, including the Weber Shoe Company in Missouri. In 1966, the name changes to Stride Rite. By 1969, the shoe conglomerate was producing over 30,000 pairs of shoes a day. Today, Stride Rite is probably best known as a maker of children’s shoes.

Here's an interesting tidbit: Stride Rite was a pioneer in providing social services for its employees. In 1971, it was the first company in the U.S. to open an employer-sponsored, on-site day-care center. The motivation at first was philanthropic; the president of the company wanted to ‘give back’ to the low-income community where its factory was located. But soon employees asked to take advantage of the day-care center. Stride Rite’s day-care program became a model for other companies. Unfortunately, various state regulations prevented them from opening such centers for their factory workers outside of Massachusetts, but they were able to provide day-care for workers’ children at their factory in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1990, the company decided to address the need for elder care services by opening an Intergenerational Day-Care Center.

I really wish these shoes were in my size. I’d like to wear them with my striped trousers. I guess I’ll have to paint myself some yellow, blue and red shoes.

Better late than never, I'm linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.

Reader Comments (10)

Very cool shoes! And I like your take on the Captain America picture. I saw this on 14 Shades of Grey and found myself at a complete loss. I don't have anything with stars or that color of blue. I guess I'll have to think laterally if I'm going to submit something. It's a fun challenge!

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVal Sparkle

I love your interpretation of Captain America - I saw the inspiration and scrolled down expecting a Mexican wrestling mask, so the star cardi and incredible shoes were a very nice surprise. Those shoes really are a find. x

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVix

Bloggers' responses to the Style Imitating Art challenges are amazingly inventive, I wouldn't have a clue where to start! I like the outfit, even though you aren't crazy about it, and I definitely think that little star cardigan has other styling opportunities just waiting to happen! Thank you for mentioning my ample bosom in the same sentence as Helga's - I feel her's is rather more magnificent than mine, but hey, we work with what we've got, and it's true we both like a tight little cardigan to show off the assets!
The shoes are wonderful. Would a padded insole help, or would they still be too big?
Yes, a meet up in the next couple of months would be lovely, let me know when you are around, Jo. xxxxx

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCurtise

What a great outfit, Jo, I love the fitted cardi and the bag (is the cool silver sun on it a pin or part of the bag?). The shoes, and the social history behind the company, are neat. At least you have a chance of wearing them - I often find shoes that are too small for my huge clompers. Maybe try an insole like Vix suggests? BTW, your Seventeen mag cover inspired me to look for some 1980s issues whose fashion spreads I vividly remember loving as a young teen (my older sis had a subscription): Dec and Aug 1981. Alas, they are hard to find but now I'm obsessed, so I'll keep haunting eBay and Etsy!

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrunge Queen

such a wonderful interpretation - the shoes are incredible! Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday.

Oh, I love your Captain America look, Joy. Fabulous really. And very cool shoes too.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpao

What a fun interpretation of Captain America! I love that gorgeous cardigan!

As a fellow Visible Mondayer, do pop my blog if you get the time.


April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmalina

What a fun interpretation of the picture. And I love the shoes; what a shame they're too big. They go really well with your trousers - I suppose there aren't thick enough socks to take up the slack?

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

Wasn't this a fun challenge ... I'll have to play it straight some time . You look just great, and your outfit really flatters. Good for you.

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan Graham-McMillen

Hi Jo,

I love the Captain America interpretation in the top picture, and I also like the second styling. Even if you're not so keen, the cardi is great, and the shoes are fabulous. As Curtise has said, would some kind of insole help?

Would be fab to meet up again when you are over here. It's easy for me to get to Walsall if you are going to see Vix. Or I may be able to pop down to London. Let us all know your plans nearer the time.

Annie xxx

April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

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